Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a topic mainly associated with science fiction movies like Ex Machina and futuristic visions of our world where androids are walking the streets. However, AI is present in various areas like cybersecurity or healthcare. We encounter AI on an everyday basis without even realizing it. AI is also gaining more and more presence in online shopping, opening new opportunities for merchants and buyers to build a better, tailored shopping experience. As we are eCommerce experts, we will focus on AI usage in this area, namely how you can benefit from it with Shopware, which we know fairly well.
To get a bigger picture of what artificial intelligence is, we can divide it into three main types:
- Weak AI – this type of AI can perform a dedicated task with intelligence but can’t go beyond its limitations e.g. purchasing suggestions on an eCommerce website. It is the most common type of AI currently available.
- General AI – AI that matches the intellectual capabilities of humans.
- Super AI exceeds human intelligence and can perform better than humans with cognitive properties. But, as you may think, it is still a theoretical concept.
Implementing AI in eCommerce
Artificial intelligence algorithms, in a nutshell, implement the mathematical problem of finding extremes (minima and maxima) in functions of many variables. The algorithm tries to get the best possible measurable result based on several different requirements. It turns out that finding extremes can translate into many different, at first glance, unrelated fields. eCommerce is one of them.
The search for maxima can be translated into maximizing the number of positive and minimizing negative sales events, which is the ultimate target for merchants.
Based on an already collected (and AI-analyzed) base of customer behavior, you can:
- suggest more suitable products that will encourage customers to perform further purchases
- make sure that our products are well-stocked based on current trends
- minimize losses caused by product returns
- suggest more relevant topics when the user is looking for help in the support section
- suggest better-matched products in the search bar
To achieve the goals mentioned above, the application responsible for sales execution must collect data about:
- products sold within a single order
- product sales, divided into warehouses/regions
- product returns
- promotions used within an order
- search phrases and clicks on suggested links
We should consider the data analysis by AI algorithms as continuous work carried out on a separate unit from the sales servers. This is the usually large need for computational resources for analytics. Worth mentioning here is that we could also need a Computer Vision Specialist to maintain and update more complex AI systems.
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Examples of AI in eCommerce
Virtual Assistants and Chatbots
Do you recognize pop-up windows when you visit an online shopping website? That’s what it is about. Chatbots and Virtual Assistants are always ready to help you find the most suitable product and are always ready to answer your questions.
Getting suggestions and recommendations
Using AI, companies can offer customized content and helpful recommendations for you thanks to analyzing petabytes of data. Do you recognize the phrase “Others recently bought…”?
Personalization on multiple devices
The AI engine algorithms closely monitor all channels and devices to generate a global consumer view, regardless of whether it’s a website app, mobile app, or email campaign. Online merchants may offer great customer service thanks to this unified consumer perspective.
Natural Language Processing (NLP)
NLP technology is used, for example, by Amazon Alexa. Thanks to natural language processing, machines can easily select phrases and words used by users when searching for a specific product. As a result, it greatly improves the user’s interaction with the store and makes finding the product they are interested in faster.
Some of the current plugins in Shopware for AI
Plugin responsible for automated translation of all the content present on your Shopware shop e.g. product descriptions or articles, within a matter of minutes.
Algolia is an AI-powered search and discovery platform. It provides increased search speed and prioritizes products based on relevance and synonyms.
This plugin offers intelligent cross-selling where you decide what products are most important to sell. In order to do it, you select the weight of products in the settings, and additionally, the software is also sorting the items by the number of hits.
Benefits of AI in eCommerce
- Advanced Virtual Assistants
- AI Creates Customer-Centric Search
- Create a smooth and efficient sales process
- Retargeting potential clients
- Personalization on multiple devices
- Creating content e.g. product descriptions
- Detecting fake reviews
- Inventory management
- Natural Language Processing (NLP) can be used e.g., by people with disabilities to order products
As can be seen, artificial intelligence is already playing a huge role in eCommerce development. Along with further technological progress, AI will only grow in importance. Many eCommerce businesses will certainly use it for their websites or other new fields soon. Therefore, be one step ahead of them. Contact us if you are considering implementing AI in your Shopware-based eCommerce.